DOH, DILG now probing alleged sale of COVID-19 vaccines

Published May 22, 2021, 1:53 PM

by Analou de Vera

MB File Photo

An investigation is now being conducted on the alleged selling of coronavirus vaccines (COVID-19) procured by the government, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the statement following the reported sale of vaccines in the cities of Mandaluyong and San Juan.

The DOH and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are now looking into the matter, she said.

“Tayo ay nakipag ugnayan na sa ating mga local government officials. Sila din po ay gumagawa ng kanilang imbestigasyon (We already coordinated with our local government officials. They are also conducting their own investigation),” said Vergeire during the Laging Handa press briefing on Saturday, May 22.

“So antayin natin kung anong makalap na resulta dito sa investigation (Let’s wait for the results of the investigation),” she added.

Vergeire said that products under emergency use authorization (EUA), such as COVID-19 vaccines, cannot be sold commercially. “Pangalawa, hindi po dapat binebenta ang mga binibili ng gobyerno (Secondly, those that were procured by the government cannot be sold),” she added.

“Kung yan po ay mapatunayan na totoo, makita natin yung mga taong gumagawa nito (If that is proven to be true or we caught those people who are doing it) , they will be penalized based on the sanctions that are provided on our existing laws,” she warned.

In a statement, Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos said that the sale of vaccines or vaccines slots are “downright illegal acts.”

“I have directed the Chief of the Mandaluyong City PNP (Philippine National Police) to coordinate with the NBI’s (National Bureau of Investigation) cyber crime division for an immediate and thorough investigation of the matter,” said Abalos.

“Anyone caught selling vaccines or vaccine slots to the public shall be charged in court. Even those spreading misinformation, should these reports turn out to be false, shall be held liable,” she added.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora also vowed to investigate the alleged selling of vaccines.

“San Juan City has been made aware of a social media post of a citizen who received an offer for vaccine access supposedly through our LGUs vaccination program,” he said in a statement.

“We have reached out to the individual who posted this so we can take necessary actions against this person claiming to have access to our vaccination program for a fee,” he added.